The Semi-Large Band?
In 2021, Greg Johns found himself in the sweet spot. He was playing what he wanted to play and was planning to record a four-song, all original, demo at Wall of Sound studios in Albuquerque. In a media interview, Greg said:
The project grew as different friends offered to help out. Next thing he knew, Johns had a band behind him: Kenny Rainey (lead guitar), John Paul Davis (dobro), Amy Blackburn (fiddle), and Scotty Becket (bass). “Now it’s a band. I didn’t get into this to have a band, and I still fight it occasionally.”
Albuquerque, The Magazine, April 2023
And so was born the Semi-Large Band, a quartet of incredibly collaborative musicians who are masters of their respective instruments. The SLB is gaining a reputation for its innovative instrumental accompaniment and intelligent vocal arrangements.
Kenny Rainey is the gifted lead guitarist of the SLB. His musical influences are varied, ranging from Elvis to the Beatles to contemporary country. Kenny’s expressive and lightning quick guitar style perfectly complements his SLB bandmates. When Kenny takes a solo it’s clear he has something to say, but nothing to prove.
John Paul Davis, or “JP”, plays the dobro and provides precise harmony vocals for the SLB. The journeyman pedal-steel guitar player recently took up the dobro in search of an acoustic alternative to the steel. When called on to take a ride, his “pedal steel mind” is readily apparent, often showing deference to the melody.
Amy Blackburn is a veteran fiddle and mandolin player. Well known for her stints in the beloved female trios “The Buckarettes” and “Jeez La Weez”, Amy’s music journey pre-dates those successes; she was pursuing a BA in violin when she wandered off mid-semester with a cute guitar player and never found her way back. An incredibly collaborative musician, her musical intellect and abilities make for “perfect” instrumental back-up and splendid harmony vocals with JP.
Bassist Scotty Becket was born on the east coast, worked his way west and has been playing since he was 10. If asked, he would tell you that “fate and a lot of luck put him in the right place at the right time to be able to play in the best damn band in New Mexico.” Scotty’s bass lines provide a solid foundation for the music of Greg Johns and the Semi-Large Band.
And we never go anywhere without our road manager…….woof!